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Road to the Combine, Part 2: One Night in Indy, Top to Bottom

I've never been a fan of Indianapolis on any level: don't like the football team, could care less about their basketball team, not a fan of car racing and it doesn't bring Midwestern charm of a St. Louis or Chicago.You can never take away the fact that the area served as an incubator for the greatest American author of the 20th century (Vonnegut, Kurt), but it'd worth noting that even he bolted it at the first chance.

But sometimes the right view of a city will make you pump the brakes on that hate train just a little bit. For myself, it was this particular vista that made me give the home of the Colts a tip of the hat for an evening:


That was the view for our reception in Indianapolis Saturday night, thrown by Bridgestone and the NFL. On the 38th floor of the American Square building, the entire Skyline club was taken over by season ticket holders from the Titans, Bears, Bengals and Packers. Former NFL stars Ahman Green and our very own Jevon Kearse worked the floor, drinks flowed and everyone clearly had a great time.

The reception was also where I discovered why the Titans had selected these particular season ticket holders: when asked to write in with 150 words or less about why they want to go to the Combine, the front office received heart-breaking tales of woe, buoyed by the fellowship and fun that comes with being a Titans fan. There were cancer survivors, victims of the tough economy, siblings reconnecting and much more.

You would have never guessed that this bus full of fans that had been cheering and laughing all the way to Indy had overcome so much, and that's kind of the point.